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  Jul 10, 2020
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Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (

 National Accreditation Advantage

Sage’s School of Education first received accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in October 2001. NCATE accreditation means that graduates are recognized as having completed an Education program that meets the highest standards in the field. Sage graduates should note the NCATE accreditation on their resumes and be prepared to talk about its significance.

Sage is one of only 45 colleges and universities in New York State to receive prestigious NCATE accreditation. Across the nation, relatively few private colleges can claim this level of excellence in teach education programs. The NCATE accreditation process helped articulate what qualities a Sage educator, counselor, or leader possesses: belief in full inclusion, valuing diversity, reflection, and knowledge about best practices. NCATE accreditation is a mark of assurance that teachers, counselors, and leaders educated at Sage are competent, caring, and highly qualified. NCATE accreditation means that Sage graduates are better prepared to help their students reach high standards. Graduates of NCATE accredited programs can more easily receive certification and teaching jobs in other states; NCATE is recognized throughout the nation. 

Educational Leadership

“Research shows that the leadership skills needed today are different from in the past, and preparation programs must adapt in order to better train people for leadership positions.” (Growing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today: Preparing Effective School Leaders in New York State, a publication of the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department).

 The Doctor of Education program is designed to develop visionary educational leaders who are reflective and ethical practitioners and who will create learning communities where all children experience a sense of belonging, discover the excitement of learning, and demonstrate achievement individually and collaboratively. This program prepares graduates for roles as school district leaders and for leadership positions in educational coordination and policy making at local, regional, and statewide levels.

 Conceptual Framework

 The mission of the School of Education is to prepare highly effective educators, school counselors, and school leaders who believe in full inclusion, who value diversity, who are reflective, and who are knowledgeable about best practices. Therefore, we ask Sage educators, counselors, and leaders to consider two essential questions throughout their studies and field experiences: Who am I in the lives of those with whom I work? Who am I in the life of my educational community?  We expect all Sage candidates to demonstrate leadership and create optimal educational outcomes for all learners.

The motto of Russell Sage College, “To Be, To Know, To Do,” informs the educational purpose of The Sage Colleges, where the common effort is to translate learning into action and application, within a framework that recognizes the obligation of educated persons to lead and serve their communities.  In the School of Education, this motto is extended to form the basis for our programs.  We expect Sage candidates:

  I.  To be well-grounded in knowledge about schools/communities, learners and learning, the Sage candidates will:

  • Understand self in relation to learners, their families, and the local and global community -  particularly in terms of power, privilege and knowledge with regard to culture, class, language, ability and gender;
  • Use interpersonal skills and demonstrate collaborative attitudes which result in successful partnerships with colleagues, families, and other community members;
  • Improve society by modeling and using democratic practices in their settings;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to substantive self reflection, consideration of quantifiable and qualitative data, on-going learning and professional development;

 II. To know curricular content and models of instruction, including technology and its application,  the Sage candidates will:

  • Demonstrate an ability to respond to the strengths and needs of all learners, using assessment data to inform instructional decisions;
  • Use knowledge in their designated fields to inspire learners to grow and to meet high standards;
  • Employ/promote pedagogical/counseling/leadership practices that engage learners in active ways;
  • Demonstrate knowledge in their content areas ensuring maximum achievement for all learners.

 III. To do what is necessary to ensure the success of all learners–and to collaborate with families/community members in respectful, culturally responsive ways, the Sage candidate will:

  • Engage in reflective practices;
  • Demonstrate a positive, respectful view of learners, their families, communities, and colleagues; listen deeply to the experiences and perspectives of all those within the community to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment;
  • Model ethical behavior and active citizenship; promote the success of all learners through advocacy, action, and the development of leadership throughout the community;
  • Build trust and garner support for a vision of inclusive schools that value diversity.

© School of Education, The Sage Colleges, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2009


The program of study for the doctorate in educational leadership will:

  • Provide advanced study in leadership and change theory for candidates entering significant leadership roles in school districts or other areas of broad educational influence;
  • Lead to the creation of exceptional, inclusive learning communities in the schools and districts served by our graduates;
  • Generate a forum for women and men of differing races and ethnicities to convene and challenge themselves as they investigate the effects of race, poverty, gender, and special needs on the achievement of children;
  • Produce reflective and active educational leaders who respect the past but are not constrained by it in their thought or action on behalf of learners;
  • Become a model of school - university cooperation in leadership development;
  • Ignite and disseminate research-based decision-making and problem-solving for school districts in need.

Each candidate will intern throughout the first four semesters, experiencing the annual cycle of school district leadership functions. The internship competency areas relate specifically to the coursework of the semester. Candidates will serve the internship in two carefully selected school districts of varying socioeconomic status, one of which may be the district in which the candidate is currently working.

Area school districts, BOCES and other educational organizations provide research sites and work with program faculty to identify significant problems of practice for each cohort’s dissertation, insuring that Ed.D. candidates’ work is grounded in the real world. These partnerships provide relevancy for the research, build capacity for the school districts, and generate model university school district relationships. Candidates are expected to demonstrate competence individually and to work collaboratively, as a member of a research team to apply the research findings in the field, to understand the complex nature of the issues and problems that schools face, and to draw upon the richness and breadth of the university curriculum. The resulting research will not only address significant and real problems, concerns or questions, but will contribute to the knowledge base in the area of leadership practice.

Admission Requirements

The Program will be limited to qualified candidates who have completed a master’s degree or degrees, with no fewer than 60 graduate credits of study in education or related areas, and a GPA of no less than 3.5 in graduate coursework. Potential candidates will also present teaching or leadership certification and demonstrate potential for educational leadership based on prior work experience. Other requirements include an application to Sage Graduate School, three letters of professional reference that address the candidate’s potential in relationship to the NYSED nine essential characteristics of effective leaders, an on-demand writing sample to determine readiness and capability for scholarly writing, a current resume and a statement of career goals supporting the choice to enter doctoral study at this time, and participation in a personal admissions interview. See the Sage Graduate School admission requirements for more information.

Candidates for the program will be teachers, counselors, principals, and other mid-level professionals who have exhibited leadership potential through their work in schools, school systems, or other educational policy positions. The program is intended for practitioners and is designed to allow for continued employment throughout the period in which they will complete the program. Careful work with school and community leaders is intended to assist in increasing the numbers of highly qualified candidates from under-represented populations who enroll the doctoral program.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Ed.D. will complete 102 credits of graduate study, 42 of which must be completed in the Sage doctoral program. Those credits include core coursework, an experiential component integrated throughout the program, and a culminating research activity. The program is designed to be small; a maximum of 15 part-time candidates will be accepted. They will proceed through the program as a cohort that begins, after initial start up, every other year. The seven semester program design includes summer residencies, weekend format courses, online components, and interaction with state and national experts.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is housed on Sage’s Albany campus, with state of the art classrooms and small and large group meeting spaces. Additionally, extensive online resources including Moodle, databases, and journals support the online coursework of the candidates.

LiveText e-Portfolio System

The School of Education requires all students to subscribe to Live Text, an electronic portfolio system.

Total Program Credits: 42


NCR 070 Reporting & Identifying Child Abuse & Maltreatment :0 credits

NCR 071 School Violence Prevention: 0 credits

School of Education Attendance Policy

While individual instructors may approach attendance and participation in varied ways in their grading policies, students in the School of Education should be aware that missing 1/4 or more of class sessions MAY result in AUTOMATIC class failure. Class content and participation are vital to meeting the objectives of School of Education courses.